Ford Hit With Sudden-Acceleration Claims

, The National Law Journal

   | 1 Comments

A lawsuit filed against Ford Motor Co. on behalf of consumers alleging economic damages tied to sudden acceleration comes months after Toyota Motor Corp. agreed to pay more than $1 billion in cash and repair costs to resolve similar claims.

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What's being said

  • Fred Furrer

    I am a Mechanical Engineer with an MSME degree from the Univ. of Wis. I work in the field of automotive engineering. I have experienced sudden unwanted acceleration (SUA) in both my Ford Taurus and Lexus LX470. My ex-wife also experienced it in the Ford Taurus. In every instance, the cause could be traced back to inadvertent pressing of both the brake and accelerator at the same time. This is caused by a combination of factors that include (1) wearing of large footwear such as winter boots, (2) proximity of the two pedals, and most importantly, (3) the fact that the brake pedal can be depressed further towards the floor than the idle position of the accelerator. I have also examined brand new Toyota Camrys in the dealer's showroom and have found that these conditions exist. When the SUA happens, the driver's instinct is to press the brake harder, which only opens the throttle wider. If you are coming to a stop sign and this SUA happens, you must have the presence of mind to release the brake so that you can move your foot off of the accelerator. This is counter-intuitive, and actually dangerous because the car will lurch ahead into the intersection. The best fix is to make sure the brake pedal cannot be pressed lower than the accelerator. As an important fail-safe, adding an electronic interlock that prevents the throttle from opening when the brake is being pressed heavily should be installed in all vehicles.

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